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Michael Tavoliero: Socialism has taken down our educational system


We all as parents share a common, yet strikingly dominant and emotional, sentiment. It is one of our most true imperatives. Through the centuries of civilization, every parent’s goal was a singular commitment to ensure their children had better opportunities for their future than they had. When this happened, what resulted was not just a better life, but a better society.

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In 1931, Albert Jay Nock, “The Theory of Education in the United States,” in his lectures to University of Virginia students, stated, “This sentiment, I say, served as a quickening spirit, not an enlightening spirit. Its ministrations moved us to the construction, by no means deliberate but quite at haphazard, of an educational theory which may be decomposed into three basic ideas or principles. The first idea was that of equality; the second, that of democracy; and the third idea was that the one great assurance of good public order and honest government lay in a literate citizenry.”

Nock continued, “I need not remind you of Mr. Jefferson’s passionate faith in this third idea, and his insistence upon it in season and out of season. It was in his day a speculative idea, which commanded quite wide consent among thoughtful persons, but which the subsequent test of practice has rather tended to explode. These three ideas are the fundamental ones in our theory of education today, precisely as they were in Mr. Jefferson’s time. They remain unmodified, and even, as I said, unexamined; they are taken as axiomatic, and all the mechanism of our system, the whole of our pedagogical practice from the primary school to the university, is built upon them.”

What happened to Thomas Jefferson’s American theory of education that produced in the 19th and early 20th centuries some of our greatest minds?

Nock saw in 1931 that socialism happened. 

In the new decades of the 20th Century, socialism became the government manipulated arbitrary division and redistribution of the nation’s wealth and industry among the American people through tax doctrine. This tax doctrine (income and property) transformed our population’s behavioral fabric by slow marination. It did not offer option, opt-out nor constraint. Over time, this further instilled ignorance and misinformation regarding our constitutional republic. It produced an overwhelming popular misunderstanding resulting in self-interested government largess, especially in government education.

The examination of the first principle, equality, in our government educational system metamorphized from the founder of the University of Virginia’s espousal of performance basis to an artificial mechanism where every student gets a trophy. 

What of the second principle, democracy? Our education system is intended to be democratic. The definition of democracy was transformed.

As with the current corruption of the philosophically sound doctrine of equality, Nock saw the transformation of the definition of democracy as “something even stranger and more interesting, a perversion upon a perversion.” 

Today, the public policy of regulating and influencing behavior is critical for governments. Instead of the bottom-up goal of our constitutional republic starting with individual rights through a local government process leading to better freedoms, government has invented top-down restraints on every facet of the public’s lives. Governments employ several tools such as legislation, sanctions, regulations, taxes, and subsidies to change and modify public behavior.

Government policy should mean actual resource allocation presented by projects and programs designed to respond to actual problems and challenges requiring government action for their solution, instead of the knee jerk reactions to projected and unproven problems and challenges we see our government, local, state, and federal, acting with blind imminence and our captive participation.

The birth of our nation was founded upon the right of individual self-expression in politics. At the core of this 18th Century political theory was that those who vote, rule. The vote was considered the best appliance to actualize this right of individual self-expression. Through voting, democracy becomes the outcome of counting ballots. This democratically determines power and control over the political apparatus. Democracy was intended political status.

However, we live in a constitutional republic. Over time and the confusion of terms, our behavior changed to accepting that fact that everybody voted democratically, hence we live in a democracy. 

Moreover, because of this confusion of terms, today’s democracy has shifted from purely political convention to a collective controlling economics. Our current perception of democracy demonstrates how the management and administration of government properties affects public behavior. 

It is not the democracy of political outcome. Like the common areas of a condominium and the cost to operate them, this became the purpose of today’s democracy. A bond issue to build a new government school or a candidate for government office to better control ideological intent are regarded as our obligation, instead of our nation’s original focus of lesser government and our obligation to preserve that limited government for our future generations. The democracy of economics is now the goal of the outcome of counting ballots, not the democracy of politics. With a perversion of the Golden Rule, those, who have the gold, rule. 

The opposite of republicanism is monarchy, but monarchy is not the opposite of democracy. The opposite of democracy is absolutism, in other words, tyranny. Tyranny can control a republican regime just like any other. Because everybody voted, our constitutional republic is now termed a democracy. We see this as normalcy. The evidence of this confusion is a modern-day social predicate.

Thus, democracy is not a matter of an extension of the ballot. It is not a matter of the individual citizen’s right of self-expression in politics. It is no longer the political philosophy of the eighteenth century regarded nor intended.

Today’s democracy is not political status. It is the economic adjusting of government property by dissolving the distribution of ownership funneled into a collective political class, the elected and the non-elected bureaucracy, using tax and regulatory restraints on the country’s voters. This collective political class is obliged through the fundamentals of the new definition of democracy not to bear the responsibility nor accountability of ownership, only to produce outrage and crises for the purposes of maintaining the power center of government. Socialism avoids individual responsibility and accountability, which are the foundation of liberty, and promotes the increases and controls using top-down government economic policy. 

If elected government leaders cannot be responsible and accountable for their actions over and above the election process and the policies created, then they avoid any consequence for results. With time their lack of results is forgotten, leading to a general disorientation and planned confusion.

Has Alaska forgotten the findings of Alaska 2000?

Crises-induce resentment and outrage as well as fear and discontent. Today’s democracy is transformative by intent to include resentment and outrage. Yesterday’s democracy is neither remembered nor practiced. Those who dedicated their lives to figuring out the human quagmire of civilized designs are now forgotten or ignored. 

The result at present and as Nock notes in 1931, “As the popular idea of equality postulates that in the realm of the spirit everybody is able to enjoy everything that anybody can enjoy, so the popular idea of democracy postulates that there shall be nothing worth enjoying for anybody to enjoy that everybody may not enjoy; and a contrary view is at once exposed to all the evils of a dogged, unintelligent, invincibly suspicious resentment.”

When looking at our own state constitution, how would the Alaska constitutional delegates have reacted to the founder of American education theory? 

Michael Tavoliero is a realtor in Eagle River, is active in the Alaska Republican Party and past chair of Eaglexit. Part III of this series will be posted shortly.



  1. Reality check.
    They do not want an educated populace.
    They want subjects that are barely literate.
    A significant amount of current jobs will be replaced by AI.
    AI and automation will be taxed so the State will have Universal Income to distribute.
    People will own nothing and like it – they will live in communal housing, have NetFlix and the internet, have a gov’t issued smart phone – and just enough money to buy a 6 pack of beer and a pizza on Friday night.
    The jobs requiring a literate skillset will be given to low cost immigrants through H1-B visas from India and China.
    The State wants a compliant, subserviant population – just like they got with the Covid Scamdemic – the Sheeple behaved just as they’ve been groomed to do the last 40 years.
    World Economic Forum.

      • Here you go, maybe not fiction to some:


    • You forgot one overriding scenario – Youth will be kept dumb by lack of verbal communication so that only text messaging will be used and constant cheap propaganda and conditioning will be pumped into them mainly thru music, but also entertainment and social media.

  2. The curse of conveniences, vehicles, electricity, running water, internet, computers and with out this you parents out there can not figure out how to simplify the education system.
    You have a country that’s in Great debt. And Alaska spends over a billion dollars in education and you call these people educated? Obviously people are not angry enough to want change or they are scared of this corrupt State

  3. Public sector unions are the epitome of socialism. Get rid of the teachers unions, gauge teacher effectiveness by student achievement, fire the bad apples and hire the good ones, and clean house of the overly redundant administration staff at each school. Problem solved.

  4. All it took was an afternoon listening in on my daughter’s school zoom classes. I wasn’t even eaves dropping, I was shopping online and couldn’t help myself. I listened some more and realized my child was being indoctrinated and brainwashed by liberals. So sad, but I felt helpless as I didn’t want retribution against my daughter. Give credit where credit is due, this is well planned, funded, and executed.

  5. War after war, after war during my 70 years on this planet. What it has shown me is that our current education system is not about education – it is about brainwashing.

    • When teachers are taught by teachers who were taught by….well, you get it. Nobody teaches our kids but people in the endless system. I would prefer to take my education from someone who has worked in the field, instead of someone who has a degree in education. Can you imagine taking a math course from someone who has used it in his/her occupation? What a rewarding retirement job if our education system were open to it. But those people can’t qualify for the job. Not even an engineer who helped design the space shuttle because he/she doesn’t have a degree in education.

  6. Having the teachers union and the Anch. School Board in charge of education, is like having an arsonist in charge of the fire department.

  7. Michael, I have the feeling your column is highly plagiarized from another source. First clue: way too long and erudite. Your point was completely lost and the headline said more than the text. Try to get to the point a little sooner and keep it simple. Sadly, you could write the Magna Carta here and it will evaporate as if it never existed after a few days.

    • Accusing someone of plagiarism without specific examples is the height of intellectual dishonesty and cowardice.

      It’s a form of slander by people too cowardly to accuse someone of slander.

      Apparently you are the Megan Markle of MRA.

      Pro tip: before accusing someone of literary dishonesty, learn to use paragraphs. Walls of texts are bad. Walls of stupid texts are worse.

      Between the lack of proof and lack of basic grammatical structure, you’ve made yourself look like a bigger tool than usual.

  8. It’s no secret that communists infiltrated the university system of the West in the 1930s. From there, the educated class of western communists infiltrated all of our institutions. It’s called the Long March Through The Institutions. But today, the real threat are the social kooks Communist economic theory, as faulty as it is, is nothing compared to the insane sexual insanity that we see today being pushed onto our children. I never imagined it possible that our primary education system would insist on teaching our children that boys are girls and girls are boys. The insanity has reached critical mass. Melt down looks good at this point.

  9. You forgot one overriding scenario – Youth will be kept dumb by lack of verbal communication so that only text messaging will be used and constant cheap propaganda and conditioning will be pumped into them mainly thru music, but also entertainment and social media.

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